I was given a gift of a trip to New York last weekend with my mom, sister, and niece. After an incredibly busy fall, I was longing for a break, a bit of an escape. New York is definitely not a place of rest. In fact, it’s the exact opposite for me. It’s vibrant, alive, electric and eclectic, bright, loud, full of variety, and an overload to the senses. All in all, it’s an exciting place to be.
No matter where I go, it doesn’t take long for me to feel homesick.
I was the kid at the sleepover that woke the sleeping parents begging them to call my mom at midnight to come get me. Somehow I would receive an invitation again, but the pattern would repeat. Each time I promised to be braver, stronger. I would lie in my friend’s bed staring at the ceiling- this ball of nerves tightly knotted in my stomach. I’d tell myself that everything was ok, just go to sleep. The longer I stared at the ceiling, the bigger the fear monster grew. I’d shoot out of the bed, run to my friend’s parents’ room, tap-tap-tap their sleeping shoulders, and whisper, “Can you please call my mom? I want to go home.”
I’d arrive home, jump into bed, and run my hands across the sheets that wrapped me in familiar. It’s not that I was scared of something bad happening. I knew no monsters were under my friend’s bed. I knew her parents were safe and loved me. I just longed for home when I wasn’t home.
I’m 38 years old, and I still long for home when I’m not home. Yet even when I’m home, I find I long for home still. A home that never ends. A home that fulfills every longing I could ever dream up. A home that never fails, never disappoints. A home that is never sick, never dies. A home from which joy flows effortlessly. A home where peace reigns.
6:05 am Friday morning my flight left Charlotte on its way to NYC. An hour and a half later we landed, and that slightly familiar twinge began to prick at my heart. The one that reminded me I wasn’t home. The one that longed to be home. I had an amazing time on my weekend away and wouldn’t change a second of it. But the entire time I was away, I had that feeling. The one that longed for home.
I called Steve to check on everyone and told him how much I missed home. “Renee, please enjoy this time away. Don’t focus so much on what’s going on at home, that you ruin your trip. Besides once you are home for 5 minutes, we will be driving you crazy again, so enjoy being away.”
I hung up with a chuckle in my heart. It’s true. Sometimes the space makes us long for home more. Sometimes the space is what we need to see what we treasure most.
Even when I’m home with my husband and my boys, there is this subtle aching. This little voice that whispers to me about home. My true home.
It’s so easy for me to get caught up in life. Daily life. This family right here in front of me. We build our home, we build up our kids, we build our marriage, we build our 401K, we build our future.
More exciting than all that we build is what is being built for us. The home we will spend eternity in.
Investing in this earthly home is important. It’s necessary. Much of what we invest in here, is an investment towards our eternal home. Not a gaining of an eternal home, but a placing of our treasures into that home where we will spend forever.
Investing in my marriage, I’m placing my treasures into the home I’ll spend forever after death. Investing in the spiritual growth of my children, I’m placing treasures in the home I’ll spend forever after death. Investing in my 401K, it’s important, but it’ll burn. It’ll be eaten away and devoured. It won’t make it into the treasury of my eternal home.
When my van pulled into the driveway, my husband, boys, and the dog were all waiting to greet me. They rushed at me with arms opened wide. They showered me with hugs and kisses and told me of all the ways they missed me. They toured me through the house they spent hours cleaning.
Home. Home felt so good in that moment. The hours leading up to bed, I adjusted back to home. And it felt good. When my head hit the pillow, that little achy whisper began to speak. “This feels good. This is home for now. But just wait for the home I have in store for you.” That little ache reminded me that this home feels good, but there is a home that is beyond my wildest dreams. No mind has ever conceived what He has planned for us.
I long for that home.
As we enter the new year, it’s natural to set goals, make dreams, and set our sights on what we want. What I want most this year are eyes to see Him in my every moment. A heart that beats for Him with each second. Ears to hear His whispers over the noise. And a life that invests in my eternal home.
I want my life invested in treasures that don’t burn. Home. True home. True rest.
[box] Psalm 119:169-176 MSG “Let my cry come right into your presence, God; provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word. Give my request your personal attention, rescue me on the terms of your promise. Let praise cascade off my lips; after all, you’ve taught me the truth about life! And let your promises ring from my tongue; every order you’ve given is right. Put your hand out and steady me since I’ve chosen to live by your counsel. I’m homesick, God, for your salvation; I love it when you show yourself! Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well, use your decrees to put iron in my soul. And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me! I’ll recognize the sound of your voice.”[/box]
[box] Psalm 119:81 MSG “I’m homesick—longing for your salvation; I’m waiting for your word of hope.”[/box]
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